Wednesday, December 9, 2020

“Irrational & Illogical”

 There are often multiple and inter-related dynamics behind complex problems, you need to look for patterns rather than isolating causes and integrating different pieces of the puzzle to come up with a holistic solution.

Due to fast-paced change, the exponential growth of information, hyper-connectivity, and continuous digital disruptions, the problems facing businesses today turn to be over-complex, have a very wide scope, and are difficult to solve. In fact, problem-solving thought processes and practices will not be simple for many of today’s complex problems and it takes an interdisciplinary approach to either frame the right problems and solve them effectively. 

Although people believe that by default most humans are rational, many studies show that humans are "Predictably Irrational" in face of “VUCA'' new normal. Often irrational mentality and illogical solutions are reality. You can give most people skills easily when compared to trying to develop their ability, attitude, flexibility, intelligence (both IQ and EQ), practicality, pragmatism for problem-solving. It’s important to avoid the following pitfalls, take a more humanistic approach and accept such a unpredictable, irrational human factor as the key element for addressing challenges. 

Trying to leverage linear logic to solve today’s complex nonlinear problems could only have "Irrational Thoughts," or come up with illogical solutions: Linear thinking implies the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, but it’s only part of a story. It does not have an in-depth understanding of interdependence or encourage cross-functional collaboration. By applying linear logic, people have a tendency to try to fix a symptom which results from the actual cause of the problem. To make things worse, fixing the wrong cause of a problem is creating gaps, wasting time and energy, generating “irrational thoughts and illogical solutions.” They allow real problems to grow under the surface, out of sight, until it’s too late, and become a fatal failure to the business survival.

It’s important to know we all have a cognitive bias, whether individually or collectively. These cognition gaps create obstacles for defining the right problems or solving them smoothly. The resolution of an illogical problem requires nonlinear thinking and a logical process, to see a larger system with interactive pieces and “conflict” goals. Rather than considering a single goal, you need to consider a larger system with multiple and conflicting goals, measure or weigh each factor's contribution to the result. It’s also critical to clarify your role in problem-solving, walk through the “look, listen, question, understand, plan, test and collaborate” scenario, and build a good reputation as a problem solver.

Some problems seem irrational as they are caused by people’s emotional reaction to a set of circumstances or events: Running business is a problem solving continuum. Management of any type is a complex interaction of cognitive systems and ecological systems, and in a knowledge society, we assume that we follow rational problem solving scenario, but, in fact, our experience tells us that we observe highly technical and rational people acting on impulses/gut feeling or so-called “irrational mind” in spur of moments to become part of problems rather than solutions. This appears to be illogical.

Many people find it difficult to understand that the irrational thought is very common and is often a fear response to change or perceived threat. To dig into the root cause, if, there are such illogical problems,” it’s because people want to protect themselves, and at the same time, do not want to take a rational step towards learning, they may switch to their primal self, and generate negative emotions which release negative energy, and would not help to adopt the right course of action. We will have to remove negative energy and fill with positive ones to get to the right action - learning, adapting and solving problems logically. Good leaders focus on solutions, not on blame. Great leaders solve complex problems that make a significant impact without causing more problems.

There are "human factors" such as irrational, cognitive, or behavioral aspects increasing the risk of complex problem-solving success: In the business world, at least, you can't always wait for the "best" solution to emerge. Following a logical path for the solution" may include devices such as pattern recognition, and risk management. We have a predisposition to seeking patterns, potentially in the pursuit of logic when attempting to 'find' a solution. Focus on the root cause and get away from a preconceived solution if you believe that the proposed solution is not the optimized solution. Actually many of the difficulties in problem solving come from subtle psychological factors. Irrational mentality and illogical solutions increase business risks and stifle change. In practice, accomplish change and solve problems by identifying the pain points through cognitive understanding, uniquely well-developed processes, and effective risk management.

Besides logic, there is a role for intuition in problem-solving. Mastering problem-solving requires being close to the problem, it requires context and intangible variables. It involves connecting with people at an emotional as well as a rational level and working out the best way to meet multiple needs within a logical scenario. For creative problem-solving, the actual solution to a problem requires both cross-domain (divergent) cognitive processes as well as logical, convergent ones. The process may not conform to linear logic, the cross-functional, multi-disciplined, mutually respectful and sufficiently open-minded teams will be able to resolve it effortlessly.

Problem solving is both art and science. The digital business world becomes hyper-connected and interdependent, the problems facing business also turn to be over-complex and difficult to solve. Pay more attention to irrational mentalities and illogical solutions. There is no one-size-fits-all problem-solving scenario. There are often multiple and inter-related dynamics behind complex problems, you need to look for patterns rather than isolating causes and integrating different pieces of the puzzle to come up with a holistic solution.


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